Billboard names Gulf Coast Jam to top 10 festivals

The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam has rocked the headlines of several publications in recent years, and it scored a new honor in December when Billboard Magazine named it one of the top 10 country music festivals in America.

The honor — seventh place, to be precise — is a fantastic feeling, said Rendy Lovelady, executive producer of PCB Entertainment.

“The Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is all about providing great entertainment for our fans who come in from every state and a bunch of foreign countries,” Lovelady said. “Equal to that is being able to show off Panama City Beach and everything our beautiful area has to offer.”

The festival began in 2013 and has featured artists like Jason Aldean, Miranda Lambert, Toby Keith, Lady Antebellum and more. It has wrangled in over 260,000 attendees and had a $66 million economic impact since its inception — even after it was canceled in its entirety by Hurricane Hermine in 2016.

This is the first time the Gulf Coast Jam has received recognition from a prominent publication like Billboard Magazine. Lovelady said being included in the top 10 list is validation for all of the work that goes into producing the event.

“Our focus is and always will be providing an incredible entertainment experience for our fans — from the time they buy a ticket to booking a room with one of our amazing lodging partners, to recommending restaurants, area activities and especially our beautiful beaches to booking artists they love,” he said.

Tourist Development Council Executive Director Dan Rowe agreed it was nice to see others taking note of the festival.

“The PCB Entertainment guys put together a festival that showcases the world’s most beautiful beaches, and we couldn’t be more proud,” he said.

Lovelady said Billboard’s recognition wouldn’t have been possible without the supporting crew of government, tourism and safety officials.

“Panama City Beach was the perfect place to create a music festival — both in terms of geography, the city being interested and invested and having the beach as our ‘fourth headliner,’” he said.

The 2018 Pepsi Gulf Coast Jam is scheduled for Aug. 31 to Sept. 2. Performers will be announced in March.

Source:  Panama City News Herald


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